The Arrival of Freight!

Last week, after six months of waiting, our freight container finally arrived. It was like getting an early Christmas present and we were very pleased to see all our things again!

The cats were certainly very happy to rediscover the sofa and after many months without one, so were we.

At the weekend we headed into the city to see the ‘Carpark Cannonball’ event which involved pairs of crazy cyclists racing to the top of a fourteen story carpark. 

There seemed to be rather a lot of crashes and it was really good fun to watch the action. Plus the junk food at the top was very tasty!

We signed up to ‘My Food Bag’ this week which is one of the companies where you get a load of ingredients and recipe cards at the start of each week. We’re hoping it will make our diet a little healthier and seasonal and haven’t been disappointed so far.

It’s almost the weekend again and if the weather remains fine then we’re planning on a day tramp up Avalanche Peak in Arthur’s Pass. Hopefully it’ll be sunny and clear so we can enjoy the views and share some photos!


Wherever you are in the world, have a lovely end to your week.

Canterbury Show

This weekend was ‘Show Day Weekend’ which is a bit like a British Bank Holiday but with Friday off instead of Monday. Show day weekend incorporates the National Agricultural Show for New Zealand as well as Canterbury anniversary day.

We bought tickets for the show a few weeks ago and went along on the Friday to enjoy. The weather was blazing hot which is apparently the norm and there was lots to see and do. We enjoyed looking at all the animals, some were rare breeds being displayed and some were competing for prizes.

As well as the animals, there were lots of vehicles and agricultural machinery to look at and we enjoyed watching the motocross races – and having a go on a bike!

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The food hall was particularly good and between us we managed to taste Malaysian curry, BBQ brisket with a ‘Kiwi twist’ and some Thai food too – not bad! We watched a live cookery show, avoided the fair ground, saw an interesting talk on bees and I got to make my own charm bracelet.

There was plenty more to look at and explore and I haven’t covered half of it in this blog. There were clothing stands, kitchenware stands, health food stalls, cosmetic tables and then larger items like swimming pools and log cabins for sale – plus much much more. My absolute favourite part of the show was the wood chopping competition which, as the name suggests, involves people chopping through huge lumps of wood as quickly as possible. I’d never heard of this sport before going to the show but it’s hugely popular and we had a great time sitting in the sun watching the men and women hacking through the wood.

 

We thoroughly enjoyed the show and would definitely go again in future.

As well as attending the show we managed to squeeze in a little bit of climbing with the NZ Alpine Club and this time we went to a new location at the end of Albert Terrace in St Martins. This crag has a reputation as being one of the worst crags in Christchurch due to the high level of polish on the rocks and it’s true, they’re pretty slippy on the feet as you get started. The crag is also in a really pretty spot though and is sheltered from the wind and sun unlike the crags higher up where you get burnt to a crisp hot days. It was a nice spot to spend an evening – although we must remember the insect repellent next time!

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Wherever you are in the world, have a lovely week.

Arts Centre Mākete

The Arts Centre Mākete is an arts, crafts and local produce market which used to run in Christchurch every Sunday but came to an end after the earthquakes. They restarted the tradition last Sunday so we went along to support and see what was happening.

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There was a great range of different craft stalls to look around, some impressive local art pieces and plenty of food on offer from various stalls and stands.

On the whole we were really impressed and have plans to go again to buy some locally made jewellery and art.

The day before this was our local Park Run session which is now becoming a regular event for us. A large group of us from the running club (including Charlie the dog) turned up and both Adam and I got personal bests which we were really pleased with.

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This week has started well and as I found myself located in the east of the city on Monday, I took a trip out to the beach to have lunch which was very peaceful.

Wherever you are in the world, have a lovely week.

Halswell Quarry

Halswell Quarry is located on the outskirts of Christchurch and is now a large park area with permanent orienteering courses set up, hiking paths galore and plenty of ponds, and gardens to admire. The working quarry closed in 1990 but its history is quite interesting and you can learn about it from various information boards as you walk around. Near the entrance is one of the historic buildings, the ‘single men’s house’ that you can have a wander around in.

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We decided to have an easy stroll round the quarry on Sunday looping up and around the quarry face then back down through the trees and parkland. The views of Christchurch and beyond are lovely, and the mountain info board at the top helped us identify some of the peaks in the Southern Alps.

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At the bottom we were able to grab a couple of shakes and some brownies from the coffee van which was a really nice end to the walk.

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Wherever you are in the world, have a good week.

Climbing at Cattlestop Crag

We recently joined the New Zealand Alpine Club and signed up for a local outdoor top-roping course. It’s been over a year since we were last out climbing in Italy so we both felt pretty rusty and were looking forwards to refreshing our knowledge and skills. NZAC chose Cattlestop Crag as their course location and it was the perfect spot. Located just above Heathcote Valley in Christchurch, it has over 100+ climbing routes and is easy to access. There’s parking along the road above the crags and the views, as always, were brilliant.

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The entire city was laid out on display in front of us. In the distance we could see the snow-capped alps and over to the East we had views of New Brighton Beach and the ocean beyond – stunning.

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The ratio of instructors to students was really good at 1:3 and we started our day with a safety talk and a reminder of the basics; tying in safely, belaying and partner checks. As a girl with fairly long locks, keeping it tied up and out the way is important when I climb so I invested in a set of Dutch braids (from Hip Hop Trends) the day before. I’m glad I did – getting scalped as your hair gets caught in the belay device is no joke as one of our group unfortunately discovered. Ouch! Seriously girls – tie it up.

We spent the morning climbing and after lunch we learned the basics of abseiling; tying in safely and using a prusik and biner correctly to descend.

Our instructors were great and happy to adapt the course to cater to people’s specific interests and needs. A few of us were keen to learn how to set up the anchors for an abseiling spot so one of the instructors took us aside to teach this. Others in our group wanted to learn more about specific climbing techniques so another instructor spent time working on that. So, if you’re interested in rock climbing and happen to be in the Canterbury region, I can definitely recommend joining one of the NZAC climbing sessions or courses. We’re really looking forward to our next session where we can brush up on our lead-rope climbing skills!

Wherever you are in the world, have a super week.

Greta Valley

It’s been a beautiful week here in Christchurch and I can see exactly why the city is known as the Garden City. The spring blossoms are everywhere and it takes me forever to walk from one place to another as I can’t help but stop and admire.

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(Photo curtesy of Kiwi Explorer on TrekEarth)

Yesterday was the Greta Valley Relay Marathon. Adam joined as one of our team’s runners and I went along to enjoy the views and support with the driving.

Greta Valley is about an hour’s drive north of Christchurch and the scenery is just amazing. Rolling hills, steep cliff faces, deep gorges and sparkling lakes surrounded the runners throughout their different sections. Part of the run is along the coast so you also get gorgeous glimpses of the ocean along the way too.

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Our team ran their sections really well (a few of them running additional legs just for fun) and finished with a very respectable time of 3 hours and 11 minutes. We then enjoyed drinks and some food at a local bar (which also doubles as the finish line!) afterwards. The atmosphere was really good and we ended the day with plenty of clapping and celebration during the prize giving session.

This relay was a great day out with an excellent atmosphere and is something we’ll definitely be keen to take part in again.

Wherever you are in the world, have a wonderful week ahead.

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Spring has Arrived!

Spring has well and truly arrived in Christchurch now and I seem to be forever stopping to admire a flower or blossom tree.

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The temperature has been 22-23 degrees all weekend and my lovely little veggies are growing really well as a result!

We started this weekend with one of our regular trail runs around the gorgeous Godley Head hills. I tested my new trail running shoes and although they were very comfortable and caused no blisters, my ankles and calves were in agony. Apparently this is normal when you switch from road shoes to trail shoes but I wasn’t expecting it and have spent today hobbling around as a result.

After the run, we headed over into Sumner Bay and ate a wonderful breakfast at Ocean Cafe which is right on the sea front.

I actually meant to take photos of the food (which was amazing) but we were hungry and wolfed it down without thinking! The views out to sea were beautiful but unfortunately a little obscured by railings due to some building work taking place.

After eating breakfast we headed to a local ice cream shop called Utopia Ice which was recently recommended to us. Their ice cream is totally awesome and gluten free options are available which suited me.

Sumner really is an exquisite place and a must-visit for anyone who travels out this way.

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Today we went back to the Airforce Museum to see the Anne Frank exhibition which is on loan from Amsterdam. The exhibition was excellent, and the content managed sensitively.

There was another area of the museum open that had previously been closed off so Adam enjoyed having a look around there too.

This afternoon we headed into the city centre to enjoy the sunshine and explore The Terrace area of Christchurch city which is a fairly new collection of stylish bars and restaurants set to overlook the River Avon.

Today we tried a restaurant called Original Sin and were very pleased with it. The live music was chilled and enjoyable, the waitresses were friendly, the sun was shining and the food good. We sat there for about an hour just watching people and trams pass by; a very nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Wherever you are in the world, I wish you a lovely week ahead.

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